How to Hand Wash a Car Using the Two-Bucket Method

One of the worst things you can do for your cars paint is go through an automated car wash. Dirt, metallic dust, and other abrasive contaminants can get stuck in the squeegees, brushes and other moving parts of an automated car wash over time and these result in micro-abrasions all over your cars paint. 

Not to mention that your car rarely gets a proper drying after its gone through the wash, resulting in water spotting in the places they miss. 

Nothing's better than a good old fashioned hand washed car. Many local detailers offer hand wash services but if you're more of the DIY type, you know that do it right, it's not as simple as filling a bucket with soap and throwing it on the car. If you'd rather avoid getting swirl marks and scratches in your clear coat, here's how to hand wash your car like a pro using the two-bucket method...

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

  1. Clean, running water
  2. (2) Buckets
  3. *Recommended: dirt traps at the bottom of each bucket
  4. GP's S1, S2, or S3 Car Wash Soap
  5. Microfiber cleaning mitt/sponges
  6. Wheel Brush
  7. Drying Towel

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED...

  • Make sure you're parked out of direct sunlight OR you're washing your car in the early morning/later evening hours when the sun is weakest. Sunlight heats up your cars paint and causes soapy water to dry too soon
  • Gather the list above of Things You'll Need

THE PROCESS

PREP: Fill your Buckets
For the two-bucket method you'll be using - you guessed it - two buckets. You'll have your Wash Bucket and your Rinse Bucket. 
Fill your Wash Bucket with 1 - 3oz. of your GlassParency soap of choice and create foamy water using a high pressure hose. Fill a separate Rinse Bucket with clean water and a dirt trap at the bottom. Now you're ready to get started...

  1. RINSE THE CAR
    Using clean water from a pressure washer or hose with a spray nozzle, rinse the car to remove any loose or larger dirt and debris

  2. WASH THE CAR
    Dunk your wash mitt or sponge into the soapy Wash Bucket and wash the car panel-by-panel, beginning with the top of the car and working your way down to the hood, sides, rear, and wheels. 

  3. WRING & RINSE THE MITT/SPONGE
    After you wash each section, wring out the wash mitt/sponge to release any dirt or other abrasives and then dunk the wash mitt/sponge into the Rinse Bucket, shake vigorously, and rub against the dirt trap to release any remaining abrasives. 

  4. DUNK IN WASH BUCKET
    Re-apply soapy water to the wash mitt/sponge by dunking it into the wash bucket and repeat the process from step 3.

  5. RINSE AND DRY
    Once you've washed the entire car, rinse all the soap suds off using a high pressure hose and dry thoroughly using high quality microfiber towels to avoid any water spotting
That's it! The two-bucket hand wash method is a simple way to keep your vehicles paint shining and scratch-free. 
Contact us any time if you have questions and check out our line of Wash & Prep products and Microfiber Towels for your next car wash!